Man has been using herbal medicine since ancient times. Most of the medicine being made these days is inherently herbal in nature. Even in the advanced countries of the world 20 to 30 percent of the medicine essentially contains potent herbal content.
Roots of the Indian medicine can be traced back as far as four and a half thousand years to rig vied (sacred Hindu scripture).During the Muslim rule of the subcontinent valuable contributions were made in the field by Muslim herbalists who collected the works of their Arabian, Greek and Iranian counterparts and so, herbal medicine remains popular amongst the general populace of the subcontinent.
After the independence of the subcontinent, research started on the information extracted from the ancient Hindu texts and thus herbal diagnosis has been gaining more and more popularity since.
P.N Bhal, an expert dermatologist along with his assistants, has collected one hundred herbs used in diagnosis of skin disease in his book “Herbs Useful in Dermatological Therapy”. In order to signify the importance of the book under consideration, it’s worthwhile to mention here that the preface of the book was written by Hakim Muhammad Said (late) head of “hamdard dawa khana India”(Hamdard Medicine).
The book contains valuable information about herbs in along with the botanical names in a very comprehensive manner and is very useful for the scientists, herbalists and the average reader alike.
Known as Kakanj in Arabic, asgand nagouri in Urdu and Hindi, ashwa gandha in Sanskrit and watania somnifera in herbal sciences.Iit grows in dry parts of India and in the Himalayas at about 5000 feet.
Planted in the rainy season and harvested in the winter, whole of the plant is used for medicinal purposes because its stem leaves seeds and roots, all contain valuable chemical substances.
Use in dermatological disorders
Asgand is extensively used in Greek and Indian herbal sciences, used externally as balm for itching and bruising of the skin. For internal use, powdered root of Asgand is diagnosed for the treatment of dermatological disorders like vitiligo(white spots due to de pigmentation in patches of skin), Alopecia areata(a condition affecting humans, in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body, usually from the scalp) and other skin disease due to stress and psychological disorders.
Its roots and bitter leaves are used to treat insomnia due to lung infection and excessive consumption of alcohol. Its leaves are also applied as balm on carbuncles and are also recommended as a potent medicine to treat weakness due to Chancrous .In case of Leucorrhoea, 5gms of powdered leaves along with brown sugar and with cow milk is recommended to be used until the problem is gone. Powdered asgand, brown sugar, ghee with honey and Ampelopsis arborea(pipli or pepper vine) is used along with milk and rice to treat hematuria, and in case of skin problems powder is applied with oil.